Luis Andrade, Sony Electronics Inc.;
Michael Cape, Michael Cape Consulting;
Robert Higgins, Fossil Inc.; Chuck
Luckenbill, OfficeMax Inc.; Anthony
Mancini, Alex Cannon; Marc Riera,
Nike North America; Christine Russo,
Alice + Olivia Apparel
Will digital online purchasing
eventually replace bricks-and-mortar stores
or will the two be complementary?
Mitch Abbott, The Rockport Co.; Judy
Bell, Target Corp.; Bevan Bloemendaal,
The Timberland Co. (Retail); Jackie
Bonic, Liquor Control Board of Ontario;
Mark Brodeur, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.;
David Curtis, Crocs Inc.; Ray Ehscheid,
Bank of America; Joseph P. Flaherty,
Macy’s Inc.; Richard M. Geist, Uncle
Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters; Ignaz
Gorischek, The Neiman Marcus Group
Inc.; Richard Hamori, Hudson’s Bay Co.
(HBC); James Harte, Bob’s Stores Inc.;
Janis Healy, Orchard Supply Hardware
Stores; David Hicks, Canadian Tire
Corp.; James Hilyard, Performance
Inc.; Brenda Houston, Brenda Houston
Design; Marc Jamieson, TELUS; Rob
Jordahl, Belk Inc.; Tom Jowett, Bass
Pro Shops; Danette Kroll, Foot Locker
Inc.; Brad Lenz, Liz Claiborne Inc.; Paul
O. Loux, Sephora USA Inc.; Michael
Mc Tamney, The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe
& Jack; David Meekings, HAMLEYS;
Al R. Rodgers, Dollar Tree Stores Inc.;
Paul Schleef, Michaels Stores Inc.;
David Thomson, Le Chateau Inc.;
Michael Trowbridge, Limited Brands;
Bob Waddell, Limited Brands;
Bink E. Zengel, Luxottica Retail;
Bill Zuercher, Shopko
We see a convergence of bricks and clicks, not a divergence, Barry. As mobile plat-
forms become ubiquitous, you’ll see people surfing online as they surf shelves.
Even with massive growth rates, online still accounts for less than 10 percent of all
purchases and an average of 70 percent of all purchases are still made in-aisle—
whether it’s brand switching, package/size switching, or impulse. The “magic” is
the joint responsibility of retailers, brands, and those who serve them. As those of us who serve
them learn more about shopper psychology and have greater tech tools economically at our
disposal, the more magical the shopping experience can become.
Successful retailers will continue to do well because they have an engaging store
environment that people want to interact with in three dimensions. It also depends
how well a web site is linked to the brick-and-mortar site; many customers shop
the web site before heading to a chosen store to buy.
—Ryan Spaulding, store design, visual merchandising, IKEA
Most important is the overall customer experience a retailer offers its customers.
Online and in-store should not just complement each other, but rather both should
engage their customer in a meaningful way. For online, the focus could be on a
blend of editorial content and personalization with dynamic 3D interaction and
the usage of reviews and social media. Once in-store, those tactics should also
be embraced to empower the store personnel to interact with the customer. By bringing the
“virtual” online methods into the store you are continuing the interaction. You want to remove
as many barriers as possible to let the customer shop/buy where and how they want to.
—Raymond Hewins, director of account development, LOFT by NedSense
In three years, this bricks-versus-clicks debate will be irrelevant. Technology (
in-store, out-of-home, mobile, etc.) will create ever-greater interdependence until
they effectively merge in the mind of the shopper. Read the Google e-book “Zero
Moment of Truth” ( www.zeromomentoftruth.com) for a quick tutorial on the
impact online is having and will continue to have on “shopping.” Stores won’t die;
they’ll become more tech-enabled and powerfully effective in meeting the needs of shoppers.
—Mike Lauber, CEO, Tusco Display
The convergence of bricks and clicks is the natural evolution of shopping, and those
retailers who take advantage, who emerge from the current climate with a strategy will separate themselves and succeed. Right now Rite Aid is deploying nurses
with iPads at service kiosks in the front of their stores to drive this process. New
restaurant chains have appeared using an iPad-driven menu and even eliminated
wait staff. This is a total convergence in a category that has been focused on shopper experience
since the dawn of the restaurant as we know it.
—Bill Goebel, national business development manager, Streater LLC
This discussion is excerpted from the Retail Environments Network discussion on LinkedIn.
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